Between compassion and vegetarianism…

We encourage vegetarianism for health and humanity reason, as well as to help to calm the mind for meditation, but, I do not relate vegetarianism with compassion, as compassion is beyond what we eat or don’t eat, nor to specify compassion as there’s completely no lives will be harmed by the life existence of this body and mind, unless our life existence on earth can be without hurting any living beings at all in our everyday life, whether intentionally or unintentionally, directly or indirectly.

I neither identify myself as ‘compassionate being’ nor ‘not compassionate being’. I support the teaching and practice of compassion, but at the same time, I am aware that the life existence of this body and mind cannot avoid hurting some forms of living being in everyday life, whether directly or indirectly. Just like all the elements, they have no intention to be good or bad, to be constructive or destructive, but everything is existing and cease existing due to these elements, at the same time.

If someone believes in the theory of being compassionate means that there shouldn’t be any lives be harmed at all by the life existence of this body and mind, then either we shouldn’t exist at all if we really want to be compassionate, or compassion is something unfeasible or unachievable in this life existence which cannot avoid hurting some other life forms at all.

Even though we do not wish to hurt any life forms, but just by being existing, there will be many lives be hurt by the existence of this body and mind, whether directly or indirectly. Just by eating vegetarian food cannot justify that there’s completely no life forms are being harmed by the existence of this body and mind, and during the entire process of food consumption from plowing the earth, planting, harvesting, transportation, until the preparation and cooking the plant based food.

If we are not free from ignorance, egoism, attachment, identification, craving and aversion, we will try to protect the lives and welfare of certain living beings that we like, but we might hurt other living beings that we don’t like. Out of selfish desires, craving, aversion, jealousy, anger, hatred and fear, we might do and say things that will hurt other beings. Just like some people might show intense passionate love towards certain beings, animals, or insects that they like, but they might not be able to show loving kindness towards some other beings, animals, or insects that they don’t like. It’s like “I don’t eat beef or fish as cow and fish are living beings like us and they are so cute, but I will kill rats, mosquitoes, cockroaches, flees, worms, ants, or spiders as I don’t like them, and I think they are bad and nasty.” or “I love animals very much and I wish those who hurt any animals be condemned to hell and suffer a lot.” or “I love cats, but I hate dogs.” and etc.

Being vegetarian doesn’t necessarily mean that we are all nice and kind beings, or we are compassionate beings who are completely free from ignorance, egoism, attachment, identification, desires, craving, aversion, discrimination, ill-will, violence, anger, hatred, jealousy, greed, fear, worry, painful sorrow and suffering. While being non-vegetarian doesn’t necessarily mean that we are all bad and evil beings, or we could not be free from ignorance, egoism, attachment, identification, desires, craving, aversion, discrimination, ill-will, violence, anger, hatred, jealousy, greed, fear, worry, painful sorrow and suffering.

There’s nothing wrong if people think and believe that being compassionate means being vegetarian not eating meat or fish products, as everyone has the freedom of thinking and believe, and it does show loving kindness towards animals and fish, by not killing any animals or fish for food consumption. But then we won’t be free being conditioned by this thinking, as we are hurting many other life forms in everyday life unintentionally, whether we are aware or unaware of it, whether directly or indirectly.

It is a very hard decision, when life existence comes to a point that we have to choose to kill for food to survive, or rather die from hunger than to kill for food to survive. I do not encourage killing and yet I do not condemn those who have to kill for food to survive. Take a look at those who live in areas that have no basic food and safe drinking water at all, and who are suffering from poverty, extreme difficult condition, hunger and thirst. They have no basic food and safe drinking water for living, not to say to have choices of what type of food they eat or don’t eat.

Everyone might have different understanding and beliefs about what is compassion. One can never argue or debate about what is compassion based on every individual different thinking and definition about what is compassion.

There’s nothing wrong if someone say that “To be compassionate, we should not eat meat or fish, nor killing any life forms.” But we are not really compassionate even though we don’t kill animals or fish for food to survive, if we are not free from ignorance, egoism, attachment, identification, desires, craving, aversion, and all sorts of impurities like anger, hatred, jealousy, greed, dissatisfaction, disappointment, ill-will, ill-thinking, feelings of hurt, defensiveness, offensiveness, obsessiveness, possessiveness, fear and worry, constantly being restless and determined by all the names and forms that the mind perceives through the senses.

It is up to ourselves to realize what is compassion and be free.

In the teachings of yoga and Buddhism, to be free from ignorance, egoism, attachment, identification, desires, craving, aversion, and all sorts of impurities like anger, hatred, jealousy, greed, dissatisfaction, disappointment, ill-will, ill-thinking, feelings of hurt, defensiveness, offensiveness, obsessiveness, possessiveness, fear and worry, to know the truth of things as they are and realize unconditional peace beyond all the qualities of name and form, is being compassionate towards oneself and all beings. We should appreciate and be grateful towards all beings and everything that is supporting all beings to be existing, to have the opportunity to be existing in this life form to be free from ignorance.

When we realize what is oneness, non-separateness, attributelessness, namelessness and formlessness, there’s neither vegetarian nor non-vegetarian.

People can keep debate and argue about vegetarian and non-vegetarian, that’s their freedom of thinking and believe.

Be happy.

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